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14 June 2012

Chief Executive speaks on death of Li Wangyang

Apple Daily and Ming Pao in their leads, with many papers in routine to moderate coverage, reported on the candlelight memorial vigil last night for deceased Mainland activist Li Wangyang, playing up Chief Executive Donald Tsang’s remarks that he understood the views of the HK public and believed that the Mainland authorities should have heard their views.

Reports widely noted that 1,500 people took part at the vigil held at the Statue Square on the seventh day of the death of Mr Li. The police put the number of participants at 510.

Chief Executive, International Monetary Fund back linked exchange rate system

The papers in wide coverage followed up on former HK Monetary Authority chief executive Joseph Yam’s research paper on the linked exchange rate system (LERS), with some in headlines highlighting Chief Executive Donald Tsang and the International Monetary Fund’s backing for the system.

Reiterating that the Government had no plan to change the system, Mr Tsang said it had served HK well for nearly 30 years and was a cornerstone in stabilising HK’s economic development.

In a statement, the International Monetary Fund said the LERS, which was simple, credible, transparent and widely understood, merited continued support.

The papers noted that Mr Yam’s suggestion had sparked diverse comments among legislators. While lawmaker for the banking sector David Li supported reviewing the LERS, a number of pro-establishment legislators thought otherwise.

Several papers reported that the HK dollar’s exchange rate against the greenback remained stable yesterday and closed at 7.7582. The HK Economic Times reported in an inside-page lead that the HK Monetary Authority declined to comment on whether it had intervened in the market.

International bodies issue alerts on West Wing redevelopment

The papers in moderate coverage reported that three international heritage concern groups urged Chief Executive Donald Tsang not to demolish the West Wing of Government Hill while the Antiquities Advisory Board would meet today to consider heritage gradings for the whole former Central Government Offices.

The International Scientific Committee on Twentieth Century Heritage, the International Council on Monuments and Sites and the International Union of Architects issued yesterday a heritage alert regarding the possible demolition of the West Wing.

Secretary for Development Carrie Lam told Legislative Council that she was aware of the alert and a decision for the site would be announced today, stressing that the Administration’s conservation plan for the Government Hill had followed international standards which did not forbid the demolition of buildings in a historic area.

Meanwhile, the South China Morning Post’s front-page lead carried an interview with Mrs Lam who disclosed that she had sought the Heung Yee Kuk’s views on ending the small-house policy but received no reply.

The HK Economic Times also carried an interview with Mrs Lam, highlighting her remarks that the policy of increasing land supply would remain unchanged.